Hey everyone. I only found this community a few days ago, and I don’t so much know my purpose for posting this. Support, maybe? I think I’m worried about getting in my head. See background below. I’m sorry for the essay, sort of :)
My friends don’t seem to understand even if they’re supportive, I don’t think my family understands, although my husband 100% does. It really helps.
I’ve always had a phobia of being pregnant. I haven’t seen a professional about this because it didn’t really seem like something I wanted to do anyways. I have no natural affinity for babies or kids and until I met my now-husband of 7.5 years, which is a whole other long but sweet story, I was completely convinced I would never want children.
My husband’s first exposure to my phobia was when we were a couple years into dating and, for some reason, he made a comment about pregnancy or parenthood for dirty talk, triggering a full-blown panic attack and a very awkward conversation with plenty if crying.
Over the last decade, we have been working through it together. It has been incremental progress, all the way up to a point where I have been able to have calm and collected conversations with him and even other people. We have discussed additional aspects of gestation and parenthood as I have been ready, and I definitely know enough about physical care and health to teach a high school health class at this point, including pre-natal stages and what my body might be like afterwards. Hemorrhoid cream, nipple pads, stretch marks, possible less-controlled peeing. I’ve been around a few babies and held some of them, and I believe I am pretty well-informed about the good AND gross parts of parenthood.
As of about two-three years, we have both wanted to become parents, and now it is happening. I should be due around October 1st as per my calculations.
I’m doing fine, really. It’s like the shift in hormones has done my phobia good, like… I’m good at being pregnant. The fatigue is murderous, but it’s really the only struggle.
I’m trying to stay prepared for people bringing up unwanted information that I’m really not ready for, mentally, because they’re trying to be helpful. That’s my biggest worry as concerns my lifelong phobia at this time, because it’s already happened with one friend. Most people around me are completely fine and aren’t just serving up details and information… but I’m not showing yet. I know how most cultures are, and the US is generally pretty big on unsolicited advice and details.
I am trying to step back and take deep breaths when I get overwhelmed. It’s just… difficult.
If you’ve read this far, I really appreciate your time. It has been a journey, and if you have any advice or support to offer, it is also greatly appreciated.
Re: Pregnancy Phobia and Being Pregnant
As a STM now, the hormones really did take over when it came to the bodily changes. Gaining weight was hard for me, but I didn't have a problem with growing a human or breastfeeding when I thought I would.
I'd definitely let your caregiver know at your next appointment. They've probably seen others with a phobia and can help with some resources or comforting words. Perhaps they can refer you to an appropriate therapist too, if that would be something you'd be interested in.
Merostomata: Hearing that the hormones took over helps so much. You might not be a quantitative sample, but I am glad to hear it! <3
I will be letting the midwives know at the hospital we’ll be going to, for sure, and I’ll see what they say. I keep telling my husband that he is the only reason I feel safe doing this, especially with the fatigue.
Krthouse: I did not make the connection between losing control over my body and my childhood. I am celiac and I was in pain regularly and on a very strict eating schedule basically until I was 12, and I NEVER would have thought about any possible connection there. It makes sense that giving up control of my body willingly is difficult, especially since pregnancy can have so infinitely many effects on the body.
BOTH: Thank you so much for the responses. I truly mean it! I feel loved and seen!
A couple of things that I've found helpful on my journey to manage my phobia:
Your phobia is rooted in a valid fear: pregnancy is scary! You are not wrong. And so it's totally natural and logical to have fears around it. But at a certain point, the phobia is really a fear of the fear, not of the trigger itself. It's a fear of what the fear will do to you, that it will prevent you from living the life you want. And the fact that you're on this journey of pregnancy is such a triumph already. You are pursuing parenthood despite the fear, and that is badass.
Another thing that has helped me in managing my phobia is to "accept the things I cannot change." One thing you can never really control is what other people do or say. You can only control your own actions and your own reactions to other people. To protect yourself from feeling shook by other people's intrusiveness, maybe you can cultivate a mantra to remind yourself "I know what's best for me" or "I will make the right choice for me and my baby", and then screw what anybody else has to say about it.
(Of course, I'm a rando on the internet, so feel free to ignore my advice too! Lol )
At the end of the day, what gets me through the tough parts is keeping in mind that having a baby is worth the fear, the risk, and the uncertainty.
Cheering for you ❤️
@jcw2018 That is so good! You should absolutely do what is right for you and your twins, and other people never have the full story on another person’s life. I wish people were more inclined for open conversation and less… propagating what worked for them personally. There is so much we can learn from each other.
First BFP on 1/4/22. Due date 9/13/22.
DD born 07/2014
DD2 born 10/2018
DS born 10/2022
TTC #2 since January 2016
June-Aug 2017: 3 IUIs w/Clomid = BFN
Sept 2017: Dx w/Endometriosis
Oct 2017: IUI w/Letrozole = BFN
Nov 2017: IUI w/Letrozole = BFN
Dec 2017: pre-IVF testing
Jan-Feb 2018: IVF--17 eggs retrieved, 13 fertilized, 9 frozen and 1 transferred on 2/10 = BFP on 2/19!!! EDD 10/29/2018
FET Oct 2021: BFP on 10/31! MC at 5 weeks
FET Feb 2022: BFP on 2/15! EDD 10/29/22
First BFP on 1/4/22. Due date 9/13/22.